Heat at Hawks
When: 5:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta
LONDON — Joe Johnson scored 26 of his 29 points in the first half and Andray Blatche added 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 127-110 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in the fourth regular-season NBA game to be played in the British capital.
Johnson had 15 points in the first quarter, including 10 straight for the Nets (16-22) late in the period.
Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack, both coming off the bench, led the Hawks with 17 points each.
Both teams finished with five players scoring in double digits. Paul Pierce had 18 points, Alan Anderson 15 and Kevin Garnett 12 for the Nets. Jeff Teague scored 16 points, Paul Millsap 13 and Pero Antic 11 for the Hawks.
The Nets were playing a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London for the third time. They played two against the Toronto Raptors in 2011, winning both. The New York Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons in the third game last year.
After a close first quarter, the Nets started to pull away in the second. Anderson started an 8-0 run early in the quarter, with Pierce contributing two layups and Blatche finishing it off with a putback to make it 39-30.
Johnson, who spent seven years with the Hawks, ended the half with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 65-53. And the Nets pulled further away in the third quarter, with Johnson again finishing it off with a buzzer-beating 3 to make it 99-74.
It took him a while, but Hawks guard Kyle Korver extended his NBA record to 108 straight games with a 3-pointer.
Korver was off-target in the first three quarters and finally sank his eighth attempt from beyond the arc with just over 8 minutes to go, making it 111-81. That was his only basket of the night.
Both teams play again on Monday. The Nets visit the New York Knicks while the Hawks host Miami.
Although the O2 Arena was again packed for what has become an annual NBA visit, the biggest cheers were reserved for the entertainment between quarters and timeouts, and for one famous guest.
During a break in the third quarter, the face of Beatles great Paul McCartney flashed up on the big screen. As the crowd roared, several kids nearby jumped into the frame to make themselves seen. McCartney, sitting behind the Nets' bench, then squirmed his way through the youngsters to gets his face back up on the giant monitor as "Hey Jude" blared inside the venue.
NOTES: Nets G Deron Williams was out with a sprained left ankle. ... The Nets-Hawks encounter is the 12th NBA game in London, dating back to 1993, but only the fourth regular-season game. ... Johnson has scored 20 or more points in four straight games, and the Nets improved to 8-3 this season when he does so. ... As usual, several Premier League soccer stars made their way to the O2 Arena to watch the game, including Germany striker Lukas Podolski and England midfielder Jack Wilshere. Both play for London club Arsenal.